Luc Tuymans; ‘Fumigation chamber’
Let me first explain you why I decided to create blog in the first place. As it already may have occurred to you, I’m an art (history) student at the University of Gent. In the proces of learning everything about art(s) and reading different books on this topic, I stumbled on different, what you would call paradoxes, and started wondering and reflecting: “What is Art?, Where/ Why did art came into existence? What is true meaning of art? Why should we learn art? … ”
So i decided to start writing (which eventually turned into blogging ), hoping for an answer to arise in the process. Moreover I was convinced that by sharing these line of thoughts and by all means initiate some kind of discussion, debate. Hoping for correction, further insights from others and by combining, linking these different points of view, converting them into an ‘universal’ theory to define art ( as well as in a historical , philosophical, easthetic fashion). Therefor I would like to encourage all of you interested in this topic to try and contribute so WE can reach this ‘goal’.
“Aesthetic matters are fundamental for the harmonious development of both society and the individual.” – Friedrich Schiller
This is what I made out of my knowledge (for as far as it might (not) reach) and my perspective of what Art is/might be. (I’d like to add that it’s by all means possible that the following doesn’t make any sense to you, and therefor ask to add your disagreements in a comment).
I’ll begin in context of ‘history’ and ‘zeitgeist’
You could describe art in related to it’s proper “zeitgeist”, it’s function in Religion, it could be a reaction against society, or an expression of discontent (German Expressionism), Symbolic (Symbolism). A way of showing the world what daily life is really about (Realism). But art in general is none of these, how then to describe art?
First of all as you all might know, art is not reducible to it’s functionality it had in History, a piece of art simply can’t be reduced to the ‘zeitgeist’ where in it found birth. For example; you simply can’t look at a Rembrandt without ‘knowing’ that there’s also something made like a ‘Van Gogh’ or a ‘Picasso’. Does this make art a process in which one artist, one period, one work has influence on the next to come? It certainly does in a certain manner, as I mentioned before you can’t reduce art to it’s historical context
But what about art in a “universal” way? Could we describe art as the pursuit to really getting to know what life’s about, what/ who we are. (Cf. Hegel). First of all i do believe that art is not ONLY about discovering humanity. I believe that art expresses things that words can’t possibly reach, it expresses feelings or triggers feelings that we might not have known before. It are these things that make art intriguing. It has it’s own autonomous way of expressing itself, “art expresses itself.”
“Art expresses itself”
As all of you might know, art makes itself harder to define every time a piece of art is made. How possibly can we define Art in general without missing any aspect of it’s complexity in so many ways. What is it that makes art, Art? Is it the human touch? This certainly counts as one of the many aspects that define art. Art is something created by humanity, for (?) humanity.But where does art begin, where does it end? Should art by utile? Should it be beautiful, attracting? Or might it as well be repulsing and ugly?
What is art?
Thanks for reading,
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REACT.